Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Blessing Bag

    I was going through my desk drawer this morning looking for something to put a Secret Santa gift in when I ran across a little red Christmas bag full of folded slips of white paper. For a minute I was puzzled and then I remembered, "Oh the Blessing Bag!" An Advent or two ago, my friends the Presbyterians did this as part of their Advent observance, and I had liked it a lot and joined in. Basically the idea is using the bag as a trigger for thought or meditation by simply picking a one of the slips and letting your mind go. The slips in my bag say the following things:

      Something that happened that I’m really grateful for is...

      Where did God show up in my day?

      I felt joy when...

      Something I think made God happy was...

      One of my favorite things about my family is...

      I felt at peace when...

      One of my favorite Christmas traditions is....

      Something beautiful was...

      One of my favorite Christmas memories is when...

      I felt loved or loving when ...

      If I could take baby Jesus a gift, I would take...

      So I'm thinking that for the rest of Advent, in the interest of ramping up that joy quotient in the right direction, I'm going to resurrect my blessing bag....starting now.

      Ok....I pulled the one about being grateful for family....that's a good one for today. I'm thinking about my "new" family, the K's, or "the Clan" as R calls them. And Clan they are. They are big, they are raucous, and they stick together and love and take care of one another, even when they do not always see eye to eye or even particularly like one another on a given day. Today R is off taking his dad to a funeral. He got up in the wee dark hours to drive off to fetch him and deliver him a couple hours across the state. He is doing this because his sister called and said, "L died and dad wants to go to the funeral." R said, "When and where?" That's how it is with these folks. "The piano needs moving?" "The roof needs shingles?" And the Clan culture says as many as possible will appear to help. The Clan culture has made it possible for Dad to remain independent in his own place. It has also made it easy for this new future"outlaw" to feel welcome and at ease despite the sheer numbers of them to be met and sorted. The Clan culture, going back into generations has shaped who R is. Deeply good and generous, Christian....in the best and broadest that term can mean. I tell him he was raised well, and I mean it! I have had a deep longing in my heart for family and I am really grateful for this one.

      2 comments:

      angela said...

      That's a great bag! I stole the starters and may do a meme with it. I'll link back here to you when I do. Thanks!

      Mompriest said...

      I'm remembering some of your past reflections on family and aloneness and the desire for family...and feeling grateful that you have this new love and family in your life!